Author: Regala Electra
Summary: You're a billion and several million miles away and a hundred thousand years later, but it's all the same.
Spoilers: Vague spoilers for Tooth and Claw and School Reunion. Set thereabouts after.
Author's Notes: Barely a ficlet. 570-something words. Second person POV.
You can't help it really. You should help it, either watch it wither or maybe let it flourish, but you don't do that.
(This is what you do: you laugh sometimes when it hurts too much not to. It’s a cliché that works. Sometimes your mascara runs and it burns a little – or maybe it burns all the way down – but that makes everything just a bit sharper.)
(You're a billion and several million miles away and a hundred thousand years later, but it's all the same. Things happen. People die. Things are saved or broken and sometimes both at the same time. Maybe you’ll have tea afterwards and later, you’ll mix up names and create false identities of those you helped and the many you condemned. A few times, you’ll imagine things were better after you’d left but those are fleeting wishes that you doubt are ever realized. It occurs in the present, past and future and sometimes all at once.)
It's easy, really.
(Your knee scraping against rusted metal, a bruise around your neck from some alien tech, the familiar feel of manacles on your wrists, this is the in-between. This is the cost for the adventure. A mouth full of blood and if you don’t scream, then you can almost believe you’ve won.)
Eventually, you get used to it.
(You know about stitches in theory. You know that it's just a matter of thread binding pieces together, making it almost as good as it was before. The sonic screwdriver can mend the gash running vertically down his swollen eyelid. His other eye is fixed at some point on your face, but you can never figure out where he’s looking. He does not blink; he waits, he trusts. He thinks you can do this. Still, if you even slip just a little, you might just mend his eyelid shut. And you don’t think he’d care to add a dash of pirate to his outfit.)
So it's just this that matters then.
(You’re sitting on a wide stretch of desert, but it's not a desert, it’s not that at all. It's something like wilderness overcast with the gloom of a wasteland long forgotten, the glowing specks of an empire ruined and it's beautiful. You said it was beautiful before you knew the where and the what and the why, all those important questions. You asked them and remained silent as he stood and looked out at this small part of the universe he has already touched. It remains beautiful even though it shouldn't.)
He has so many places to show you.
(You run with him and laugh and shout at him and apologize to him. You get peevish when people mistake who he is to you and you get incensed when people think he isn’t anything to you. You are not limitless, you are not even close to reaching the limits, yet you can feel it, something like a missed step or a forgotten memory struggling to breathe. There are only so many things he will let you see.)
There are limits.
(You cannot let him know. You cannot let him know that it’s worth it, that it isn’t worth a damn, that for all his infinite knowledge and your finite abilities, there will always be more that can be altered. There is only so much you can reveal before you frighten him.)
(Not you. There’s something else about you now.)